2017 Oregon Book Award for Children's Literature
Our favorite books of the year.
Portland author/illustrator (and former Powell's employee) Kate Berube's first picture book is a gem. Hannah is a young girl with a youthful fear, and Sugar is your neighborhood dog. Then one day, Sugar goes missing. The best scene soon follows, when Hannah is sitting by herself, out on her front porch, wondering what it must be like to be lost, hungry, and alone — that quiet moment is special. Hannah is a strong girl character (she overcomes her fear!) who you'll love, and that last illustration of her and Sugar as new friends will make you absolutely melt. Recommended By Jordan S., Powells.com
This is such a sweet, wonderful book about overcoming our fears in order to show up for those in need. I love that Berube is never heavy-handed or preachy in Hannah and Sugar. Instead, her gentle voice simply lets the story unfold for readers. I bought one for my niece, who isn't born yet! I know one day she will need to learn how to be brave. Recommended By Shannon B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Every day after school, Hannah’s school bus is greeted by her classmate’s dog, Sugar. All of the other kids love Sugar, but Hannah just can’t conquer her fear of dogs. Then, one day, Sugar goes missing, so Hannah joins the search with her classmates. Will Hannah find a way to be brave, and make a new friend in the process?
"A marvelous picture book debut with an achingly authentic story of fear conquered... Readers will be cheering for both Hannah and Sugar — and for the wonderful new talent that produced them." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Berube sketches the children’s faces with an economy of line, showing demonstrative emotion. The muted colors of vinyl paint and acrylic work well for this warmhearted story about overcoming fears." Booklist
"For children who are nervous around dogs, this selection will offer up some extra reinforcement that there is nothing to be afraid of. The story also encourages children to overcome their fears and do the right thing. The illustrations are done in pretty, soft neutrals that suit the pace and atmosphere of the story. The plot is simple, told with some repetition that makes it an enjoyable read-aloud." School Library Journal
"This is a sweet tale with a satisfying ending; expressive, childlike paint-and-ink illustrations drive the story well... Dog lovers will cheer that Hannah has joined their ranks." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Kate Berube grew up wanting to be an artist in a cow-filled Connecticut town. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her one-eyed-wonder-dog, Sugar. Kate has had more jobs than there’s space to list here, but writing and illustrating books is by far her favorite.